Roy Keane is yet to be formally approached by the Israel Football Association

Thu, Aug 10 2017

Keane joined the Republic of Ireland staff as Martin O'Neill's assistant in 2013. Credit: Eoin Smith

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The Israel Football Association have yet to make a formal approach to Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane as they seek a replacement for current coach Elisha Levy.

 

Reports in Israel suggest that Ofer Eini, the chairman of the IFA, is 'considering the possibility' of appointing the former Ireland captain ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

 

Sources within the association have, however, confirmed to extratime.ie that no formal approach to either the FAI or Keane has taken plce.

 

A report that appeared online by Israeli sports news outlet ONE on Monday evening stated that: “Ofer Eini, chairman of the Israel Football Association, is considering the possibility of appointing Roy Keane as coach of the Israeli national team.

 

“Eini is backing coach Elisha Levy, but is not happy with the way the team looks and is considering replacing Elisha at the end of the campaign with the former player, who currently serves as assistant coach of the Ireland national team.

 

Extratime.ie has leaned that no official request has been made yet regarding Roy Keane from the Israel football association.

 

However, according to the ONE website today Eini consulted senior association officials and heard opinions about Keane.

 

A senior member of the Football Association in reference to the current manager told ONE: "Ofer values Elisha as a person, but is not satisfied with the results of the campaign”

 

ONE is of three main sports websites in Israel, the Sport 1 and Sport 5 sites did not report on the story nor did it feature in the mass circulation daily print newspaper Yedioth Ahronot

 

Israel are currently managed by Elisha Levy who assumed control in 2016 before the current World Cup qualifiers.

 

They currently languish in fourth spot in Group G behind Italy, Spain and Albania.

 

While qualification from the group was always deemed to be out of Israel’s reach a crushing 3-0 reverse to Albania in Haifa last June has seen Israel slip to fourth spot behind the Albanians, a result that could have a negative impact on the seeding for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.

 

Rumours of unrest were already rife, with veteran playmaker Yossi Benayoun openly criticizing team captain Eran Zahavi in local media following an abject performance in a friendly game against Moldova the week before.

 

Israel, who are ranked at 70 in the current FIFA rankings, last qualified for the World Cup in 1970. They finish their campaign with games against Macedonia (H), Italy (A), Spain (H) and Liechtenstein (A).